When something happens in my school, news travels real fast. One time Baylor, yeah, that’s his first name, it’s kind of messed up but he’s the smartest and fastest kid in our grade. When we play punch-football—and, no, it ain’t what you’re thinking, it’s two-hand touch football played with a punchball—his team almost always wins. Baylor runs straight out and we just chuck him the ball usually like ten or twenty feet in front of him. No matter how far in front we throw it, he runs to it and catches it. The only thing you have to watch out for is throwing too far past the end zone, a rule we put in because otherwise it just got ridiculous. We usually made Baylor play quarterback because the quarterback can’t run unless the defense rushes, which we’d kick their asses if they tried to rush Baylor. Anyway, Baylor puked in the cafeteria, and the puke was purple. I don’t know what he ate for lunch, but I don’t know any purple foods. Before the custodian could cover it up with sawdust and sweep it away, almost the whole school came rushing down to see it: the purple puke. We had a substitute teacher that day, so when we heard about it, which was like less than a minute after it happened, we all ran to check it out. I don’t know what the sub was thinking, but for all her ranting and threatening, there wasn’t a student left in her classroom.
By the period after gym, the younger kids started coming up to me to ask what happened. One of them even wanted to tell me about it. He was a little guy, and the little guys always try to get on us bigger guy’s good side, you know what I mean? He tells me that Charlie kicked the kid with nose’s ass so bad that his nose spurted tons of blood all over the gym floor. No kidding, that’s what the kid told me. When I tried to tell him that’s not what happened, he wouldn’t listen. He told me he heard from a good source and he had gone up to the gym and saw the puddle of blood. It’s no use arguing with those little guys. They’re brains are all mushy and everything.
I didn’t see much of Roger that week after the beautiful, humiliating incident in the gym. I can’t really blame him. Roger wasn’t all that popular to begin with, and the humiliation in the gym really wasn’t what he needed. There were lots of rumors flying around about what he was going to do to Charlie, but Charlie didn’t do or say much about it. Charlie came to school and studied and studied. Besides drawing comics, I don’t think he did much but study. I knew in a fight, Charlie would lose badly. I doubted he even knew hot to throw a punch. It just didn’t seem his style. I think he’s trying to make something of himself, and he’s probably scared to death of being sent to the principal’s office and risking his permanent record.
Charlie and I sometimes walk home together, and it was on that three-dimensional day when Roger finally met up with Charlie. We had just turned onto Avenue P, just two blocks from Charlie’s house. We planned to sketch out the next issue for our comic. Our first one sold pretty well, although I was hoping for a few more dollars. I don’t think Charlie cared much about the money, but he loved hearing what people had to say about it. We were talking about the story for the next comic. I remember I was pushing for a giant robot villain, but Charlie had his heart set on flying lizard men. Charlie almost always won those conversations. I’m not sure how he did it, but as we turned, I was taking credit for thinking up the flying lizard men and already describing to Charlie what they would look like.
Roger was standing there and he wasn’t dressed for the cold. Me, I was wearing a very large coat with everything all puffed out.
I know, I know, small bites. I’ll get there eventually and put this story to rest. Even the great mountain blah blah blah.
Story idea: (not sure if I wrote this down already): shoveling snow for peanuts